Housing repair service

We are running a reduced housing repairs service until Wednesday 29 May due to industrial action. We will deal with emergencies as normal but may contact you to reschedule pre-booked appointments.

Housing options for Ukrainian guests

There are four housing options for guests from Ukraine who have been in their sponsor placements for six months.

Option 1: Continue with current sponsor placements for up to one year

If guests are able to, they can stay with their current sponsors for up to one year, the maximum amount under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. This option will help guests stay in an area they already know, continue to work if they do so close by, and children can stay in their local school. It also means there will be less pressure on the Council’s housing resources, which are already stretched, and is the most cost-effective option for guests.

Sponsors will continue to receive the monthly ‘thank you’ payments for the maximum period of one year. Government guidance asks sponsors to provide at least two months’ notice to end a sponsorship. The Council’s resettlement team of social workers can help guests stay in their current placements. Support is available for education, employment and welfare benefits, and for sponsors through six-weekly virtual forums.

Option 2: Rematch guests with alternative sponsors

Guests could be rematched with new sponsors after their placement ends. The Council’s resettlement team will help find new sponsors and match guests. This option will help guests who have settled in Royal Greenwich to stay in the borough, and get continued support from local families. This also means that guests and sponsors will be able to meet before a formal placement is offered. New sponsors won’t have to match themselves or manage the visa process, while also receiving the monthly ‘thank you’ payments.

Option 3: Convert sponsor placements to tenancy arrangements including lodger arrangements

Guests and sponsors could set up a tenancy agreement. This would mean that guests continue to stay with sponsors but as private tenants who pay rent. Under this option, the £350 sponsor ‘thank you’ payments would stop and rental income would be taxable for sponsors. Contact wrs.ce@royalgreenwich.gov.uk for more advice and information about this option.

  1. If sponsors are tenants or mortgage holders, they may not be allowed to enter into sub-letting arrangements. Please speak to your mortgage lender, insurance provider or landlord to find out if you are allowed to create a tenancy, to ensure there is no breach of your existing agreements.
  1. Guests should contact the Council’s Welfare Rights Team in the first instance to determine what your benefit entitlement might be. Sponsors can also get advice from the team.
  1. Tenancy arrangements would be drawn up privately between the sponsor and guest. Sponsors will also need to consider income tax and council tax liabilities before entering into an agreement.

Option 4: Help people find private rented homes

The Council can help Ukrainian guests find private rented homes. In some cases, we may also be able to help people with deposits or other financial costs. The Council’s housing team will support guests and sponsors, but due to the high demand for housing in the borough, there could be a long wait time. Current sponsors will be asked to provide references for guests if needed by the new landlord.

  1. Following notification of a proposal to end a sponsorship arrangement, the Council’s Resettlement Team will explore the different housing options for Ukrainian guests including whether they are able to continue staying with their sponsor, move in with family or friends or able to afford private rented accommodation. 
  1. Guests who want to find private rented accommodation should first approach the Customer Access Team at The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, Woolwich, London, SE18 6HQ, or by calling 0208 921 2863 or emailing housing-inclusion@royalgreenwich.gov.uk. Guests will then be directed to the online application (you can use the computers in the Woolwich Centre or ask for assistance). The Customer Access Team will tell you what supporting documentation you need.  
  1. Once completed, the application form and supporting documents are passed to the Welfare Reform Team (housing-welfare-advice@royalgreenwich.gov.uk).  Emergency cases will be prioritised. You may be given temporary accommodation if your situation is urgent. The Council will also give you a Personalised Housing Plan (PHP) to consider and share the housing options available.
  1. If guests need welfare rights advice, please contact our team on 0208 921 6375.

Housing providers and community groups

We will be asking large housing providers in the borough to offer corporate sponsorship for guests from Ukraine. This would require the relevant provider to identify a named employee to act as the “Nominated Sponsor”. The Nominated Sponsor would be subject to the same safeguarding checks and assessment process, and each case would be presented to the Council’s Homes for Ukraine team for consideration before final sign-off.

This Corporate Sponsorship model will be expanded further by exploring opportunities for the voluntary sector, faith groups and community groups, who may be able to help. Feedback We will be contacting all guests and sponsors approaching the six-month mark to find out your views, wishes and anticipated needs for the future. The calls will also serve as a very short review to see how well the placements are going, and to check the welfare of guests.